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Pucón, My Personal Paradise

One week ago I had two goals for the remainder of my trip: to go white water rafting and to get on a horse. My have those goals been reached and then some! In the past six days I have raced my guide on horseback, navigated class IV rapids alongside four other Americans, sped down class III rapids on an oversized kickboard, flown across an entire canyon valley on a zipline, and rappelled down a 150 meter (450ft) waterfall. My week has been SOFREAKINGCOOLICAN’TSTANDIT!!

Pucón is Chile’s outdoor adventure mecca and I knew that I would love it here from the moment I laid eyes on the Google search images. It sits at the base of the snow-capped active Villarica volcano and has the feel of a tried-and-true ski town just after the snow has melted. By day you can take part in one of the many adventure activities offered throughout town or simply lounge on the black sand beach of Lake Villarica. By night there are delicious restaurants aplenty and a vibrant nightlife if you chose to take part. Of course, curling up with a good book and pisco sour is also a viable option if staying at the cozy Hostel Ecole. Even the street dogs are be well fed and happy. What is not to love?

Many of the guides here chase the “eternal summer,” working in Pucón during the US or European winters. It’s easy to understand why they continue to come back year after year as Pucón’s surroundings are as beautiful as any that I have seen. I will absolutely return in the years to come. In fact, a stint as a ranch hand or canyoning assistant sure does sound like my idea of a good time! Now… who is coming with me?

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